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Lord of History

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Both Revelation and Daniel proclaim the absolute sovereignty of God over the course of history and the fate of nations .  In Revelation ,  the “ beast ” is “ given ” the authority to operate for a period of “ forty- two months ,” power over the nations, and the right to “ wage war against the saints and overcome them .” Satan’s creature cannot wreak havoc upon the earth or against the church until authorized to do so, and only for the time allotted - [ Photo by Giammarco on Unsplash ].

Tale of Two Cities

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An underlying theme in Revelation is the contrast and conflict between two “cities,” New Jerusalem and Babylon .  The  Book of Revelation  often uses several terms and images to portray the same reality. For example, the people of God are called the “ servants of God ,” the “ saints ,” and the “ brethren .” Churches are pictured as “ lampstands ,” priests, and the “ two witnesses .” And the overarching cosmic conflict is presented by contrasting two very different “ cities .” - [ Photo by David Barajas on Unsplash ].

Three Woes

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An eagle "flying in mid-heaven" announces the last three trumpets, the "three woes"  –   Revelation 8:13 .  The first four trumpets have sounded. Next, an “ eagle flying in mid-heaven ” announces the final three but calls them “ woes .” Unlike the first four, the plagues unleashed by the last three trumpets afflict the “ inhabitants of the earth ” themselves, whereas the first four damaged the infrastructure on which human society depends – agriculture, commerce, freshwater supplies, and light - [ Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash ].

Martyrs and Overcomers

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In Revelation, overcoming saints persevere in the “testimony of Jesus,” no matter the cost, “even unto death.”  Two themes repeat frequently in the  Book of Revelation , “ witness ” and “ overcoming ,” and the two are closely related. Beginning with Jesus in his own “martyrdom” on the Cross, his followers are summoned to persevere in his “ testimony ,” and thereby, they “ overcome ” to emerge victorious, especially in the city of “ New Jerusalem .” They are to “ overcome, just as I overcame .” - [ Photo by  phil thep  on Unsplash ].

King and Shepherd

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Jesus is the promised king from the second Psalm who rules from the messianic throne and “shepherds the nations” – Revelation 1:4-6 .  Revelation declares Jesus to be the “ ruler of the kings of the earth .” His installation on the messianic throne was based on his past death and resurrection; it is an accomplished fact . He is the king promised by Yahweh, the one who reigns over the earth from “ Zion . ” But he rules in paradoxical and unexpected ways - [ Photo by Pawan Sharma on Unsplash ].